Supporting Local Councils in Leicestershire & Rutland

NALC statement on meetings and mourning period

  • statement on council meetings and notice period during the mourning period is below:

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has provided advice to our network of 43 county associations of local councils and local (parish and town) councils on council meetings and notice periods during the period of National Mourning.

This advice states that on the days within the mourning period up until the Royal Funeral do not count as clear days for the notice of a council meeting. The Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) supports this advice. However, we are aware that a contrary view by Richard Harwood KC has been expressed and published in the Local Government Lawyer, which we were not contacted about.

This contrary view is based on section 243(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 (the 1972 Act), but this is not relevant to the question of clear days which are covered by section 243(4) of the 1972 Act. The conclusions drawn in respect of section 243(1) are not relevant.

The contrary view also states that there has been no proclamation of a period of public mourning. However, the 1972 Act does not require a proclamation but refers to designated days of public mourning. The contrary view quotes the Order for General Mourning made by the Earl Marshall which states "a period of mourning is hereby instituted which will last until after Her Late Majesty's Funeral." This is a clear designation of a period of public mourning and it is made by the Earl Marshall who is responsible for all royal public ceremonial and therefore the correct person to issue a designation of mourning. Once a period of mourning is designated then, clearly and as per our advice, every day within that period meets the definition in the 1972 Act of a day of public mourning.

NALC stands by its advice, which is supported by the SLCC, and which meets the terms of the relevant law.

Posted: Tue, 13 Sep 2022 15:54 by Jake Atkinson

Tags: Meetings, Mourning, Nalc, Queen